While it is fairly common knowledge that testosterone is responsible for the male sex drive and overall reproductive system, there are plenty of less well-known systems that testosterone can affect in the human body. That’s right, the human body, not just the male because women also produce a small amount of testosterone that is necessary for specific bodily functions.
According to besttestosteroneboosterguide.com testosterone is an androgen, which is a sort of natural “steroid” hormone produced by the testes, the adrenal cortex, and the ovaries (depending on the person). There are a number of different androgens in the body, but testosterone is the most common and prominent. In addition to serving as libido boosters and activators, androgens are also the precursor to the development of estrogen in both men and women.
In addition to its role in sexual and reproductive health, testosterone is also highly useful in fat distribution, red blood cell production, and muscle maintenance. Therefore, testosterone is a highly necessary and useful hormone in human biology for both men and women, though men need the hormone in much higher volumes.
Low Testosterone: The Dangers
When your body is lacking in testosterone, there are a number of health issues that can arise, including:
- A diminished libido – testosterone is the primary hormone that regulates libido. Low testosterone can result in a lower sex drive.
- Erectile dysfunction – More specifically is caused by hardening arteries – a process called atherosclerosis.
- Low sperm count – Testosterone is the primary hormone that drives sperm production.
- Depression or anxiety – In one study, men with low testosterone levels were four times as likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression as those with normal levels.
- Increased stress levels – Studies have shown that men who are stressed often have lower testosterone levels. This is because when you stress out, your body floods with cortisol – essentially a fight or flight response. When this happens the body has to lower testosterone production to divert resources over to creating cortisol.
- Loss of muscle mass and/or definition – Testosterone is required to develop muscle in the male body. If you don’t have enough, not only will your body fail to develop more muscle but existing muscle can start converting into fat.
- Increase in weight gain – One study found that the circumference of a mans waist is the single best predictor of testosterone levels. It’s not clear if more fat leads to lower testosterone or lower testosterone leads to more fat. But there is certainly a correlation between the two.
- Loss of bone density – low testosterone levels have been proven to lead to osteoporosis in men.
Unfortunately, as men age, their testosterone levels begin to drop naturally. Indeed, by age 30, most men stop producing testosterone at the same high level that their bodies once did. This condition is commonly known as hypogonadism. There is nothing that can be done to halt this process, and the health effects that come from low testosterone can make the situation worse.
Testosterone Boosters: What Are They?
Thanks to modern medicine and science, low testosterone does not need to be an unconquerable condition. Over the past decade, a number of different synthetic medications as well as natural testosterone boosting herbal supplements have been discovered and developed to help individuals suffering from low levels of testosterone to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.
There are several main ingredients in most testosterone boosters, including:
- D-Aspartic Acid – An amino acid and neurotransmitter that can help send messages between the brain and testes to bring about better function.
- Tribulus Terrestris – A thorny plant specimen believed to be able to elevate luteinizing hormones in the body which are responsible for promoting the production of testosterone in the testes. It is also believed to have certain aphrodisiac properties, thus helping to increase overall sexual health.
- Fenugreek Another plant specimen that, in clinical trials, has shown a tendency to increase overall strength and muscle mass in men (in combination with exercise).
- ZMA – A combination of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6. Zinc and magnesium deficiency is common in older men or active men, and ZMA is meant as an overall supplement to support male health.
Now, like any herbal remedy, there are no guarantees that they will work for everyone (or that they really work at all). Testosterone boosters have undergone quite a bit of clinical research in recent years, but nothing so monumentally groundbreaking that their usefulness can be attested to without a doubt.
Furthermore, most doctors suggest that men who are healthy or are in fairly normal ranges of testosterone levels should not seek out testosterone boosters. These supplements are designed for men struggling with testosterone levels or hypogonadism and are not meant for healthy, normally functioning men who believe that boosting their testosterone can in some way improve their workouts, etc.
Testosterone Boosters: The Health Risks
There are a number of possible side effects and health risks that come from using testosterone boosters, some of which are mild and others which are more serious. Understanding all sides of the testosterone booster argument is crucial in determining if this type of supplement is good for you. Possible side effects include:
- Acne, oily skin, or other types of skin conditions
- Sleep apnea or general trouble sleeping
- Weakened ligaments or tendons if muscle gain is not complemented with the proper diet and exercise
- Kidney damage
- Infrequent urination
- Increase in aggressive behavior (this is likely to happen if your testosterone levels are growing too high)
- Elevated red blood cells
- Higher risk for heart disease
- Elevated PSA levels (linked to inflamed or enlarged prostate gland, which could also be a sign of prostate cancer)
- Mood swings
- Increased levels of anxiety
Again, these are possible side effects, not guaranteed. Many of these side effects come from the long-term use of testosterone boosting supplements. To avoid the more dangerous side effects and health risks, it is a good idea to use testosterone supplements (if needed) in addition to a healthier lifestyle. In other words, it is recommended that you use testosterone boosters as a boost to get your life feeling normal and back on track; they are not meant to be a permanent solution.
RD Neha Kava
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